Letter To The Editor: Zero = A Lot? PAC Math

Los Aamos
If “a lot of these projects are going to be self-sufficient” as claimed by a board member of the PAC pushing the rec bond, why do consultants to the County say all five will lose money?

That “self-sufficient” quote appeared in a March 23 front-page Los Alamos Daily Post article. Anticipated annual costs include $546,210 for the rec center, $298,376 for the leisure pool, $37,432 for the splashpad, and $60,695 for the baseball fields. That’s a tidy $942,713 total.

The losses will have to be covered by the County every year for as long as the facilities exist. It could go even higher as they age. Actual costs will be much higher. Those numbers are reduced by the fees hoped to be collected for using the rec center or leisure pool. 

Golf improvements are not expected to add any operating costs, but the course already loses somewhere between $400,000 and $700,000 per year (depending on which ledger and what year). What might “self-sufficient” mean in this context? By any normal interpretation it means “a lot” turns out to be: zero.

So what does this tell us? Don’t get your facts from PACs. It’s just too easy to get things wrong, especially when sharply advocating a particular view. It’s not just the local PAC. Stretching facts to the breaking point has unfortunately become the standard in political discourse.

We all just have to do our best to point out errors and exaggerations when they pop up. Not an easy task when things really start flying. Stay tuned.

The Truthiness Rating of this statement shouldn’t be any higher than 30. Though it probably has no basis in fact at all, it’s also not very easy to believe in the first place. So maybe 30 percent for truthiness and 0 percent for truth.

A request for clarification to the Los Alamos Future PAC secretary and treasurer on March 25 went unanswered.